Harrow School is a full boarding school for boys in North West London. It was founded in 1572, under a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I, by a local landowning farmer, John Lyon, whose original intention was to provide 30 boys of the parish with a classical education. Today, the School’s purpose is to prepare boys with diverse backgrounds and abilities for a life of learning, leadership, service and personal fulfilment; distinguished Old Harrovians include seven British prime ministers and the first prime minister of India, Pandit Nehru, as well as poets and writers as diverse as Byron, Sheridan and Richard Curtis. This statement of purpose is borne out through our various areas of activity: teaching that helps boys achieve their best academically, pastoral care that matures them both emotionally and spiritually, and an extra-curricular programme that develops their characters and interests. The School’s 300 acres have a collegiate feel, its historical architecture complemented by modern buildings. About 820 boys aged between 13 and 18 attend Harrow, from across the UK and further afield.
Academic. In 2015, the School’s A Level results were in line with the robust performance of recent years, in light of the major examination reforms that have led to a national deflation of A*/A grades for two consecutive seasons. Our A*/A rate this year was better than last year, at 67.5%. Maths is our most popular A Level subject and here a third of our candidates earned an A*. In seven subjects, the A*/A rate was 100% and more than 80 of our leavers – nearly half of the year group – earned three or more A*s or As, securing them places at the top universities. At GCSE, our A* rate over the past three years has been at the highest ever, with this year topping last year at 58% A*. 50 boys in this year group achieved 10 A*s, which qualifies boys who are not already academic scholars to become honorary academic scholars in the Sixth Form. Seven subjects achieved 100% A*/A. Visithttp://www.harrowschool.org.uk/1527/academic-life/the-curriculum/ for details of the curriculum.
The Super-Curriculum. Beyond the examination syllabus, our Super-Curriculum focuses on the aspects of scholarship that are not formally assessed: habitual reading, independent research, reflection and debate. Central to this is the electives system, in which boys select a challenging off-syllabus course that is taught in small groups. These courses promote lateral thinking, problem-solving and the articulation of profound thought, while also allowing boys to lead their own learning. On virtually every night of the week, there are seminars and society meetings, and we are able to attract eminent speakers from all walks of life to enrich and broaden the boys’ experience of academic and cultural life.
Boarding. Our green 300-acre estate contains 12 Boarding Houses. The buildings are quite individual, with their own gardens and facilities, helping to set each house apart. The Houses inspire fierce loyalty from the boys and old boys, who take pride in their own part of Harrow. House Masters and their families live in the houses, and are assisted by an Assistant House Master, Matron, Year Group Tutors and Health Education Tutors. In addition, the chaplaincy, full-time psychologist and pastoral support committee provide further layers of nurturing and support. On average, there are about 60–70 boys in each House. There are no dormitories: a boy shares his room with a boy of the same age for the first three to six terms and thereafter has a room to himself. Every boy has a computer in his room and each house has common rooms and shared kitchens. All teachers live in the School. Typically, for the first two weekends of a term, all pupils are in the School. If they are able to, parents come and visit. On the third weekend - an exeat - all pupils go home or to friends; the weekend starts at 12 noon on Friday and ends at 9 pm on Sunday. The next two weekends are followed by a nine-day half term.
Sport. With afternoon games available in 32 sports, five times a week, sporting fixtures against other schools and the chance to compete regularly in House matches, boys are kept healthy and active. Under the expert guidance of some of the country’s leading coaches, boys develop their skills, character and confidence. Through games such as rugby, soccer, cricket and Harrow football, they learn how to be team players. Equal emphasis is placed on the many individual sports offered here that cultivate resilience, self-discipline and enjoyment. Surrounded by acres of sports fields, AstroTurf pitches, a golf course, swimming pool, sports centre, tennis, rackets and fives courts, Harrow has a breadth of sporting opportunities. Our elite sportsmen have an impressive record of achieving excellent standards and some go on to enjoy successful, professional sporting careers. Unique occasions like the annual cricket match versus Eton at Lord’s provide memorable highlights in the School year.
The Arts. The arts are an extremely important part of Harrow’s packed calendar of activities. Whether it’s learning a musical instrument, playing in orchestras and ensembles, singing in choirs or in houses, performing in plays or discovering beauty in fine art, sculpture and ceramics, the opportunity for creative expression at Harrow not only sets our boys on a lifetime of personal enrichment and enjoyment, but also teaches them to be more self-disciplined, attentive and better at planning and organising their busy lives. Boys who participate in the vast spectrum of Harrow’s creative and performing arts also find that this involvement has a broader, more beneficial effect on their overall academic performance. By encouraging boys to perform in the highest-quality School and house concerts, plays and competitions, we see them finding their own voice and the confidence to express their individual creativity, regardless of innate talent.
After Harrow. Virtually all of our boys take up places at selective universities. Boys who are heading towards Oxbridge, Ivy League and other competitive institutions are given specific guidance and preparation from their House Masters and our dedicated Universities Team. In 2015, our most popular destinations were Oxford (14), Edinburgh (14), Durham (12), Newcastle (12), Bristol (11), and UCL (11). All boys holding Oxbridge places made their offers and 16 boys are off to top universities in America, including Stanford, Duke, Chicago, UVA and seven different Ivy League universities. Harrow is one of only four schools in the country to get two of its leavers into Harvard this year. The Harrow Association, Harrow’s Old Boys’ Society, has a thriving membership of over 10,000. Tel: 020 8872 8200, email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission. Boys are typically admitted for entry at 13 and a smaller number at 16. Visit our website for more information.
Scholarships and bursaries. A large number of scholarships are awarded every year. Scholarships have a value of 5% of the fee and are held throughout a boy’s time at Harrow, subject to satisfactory performance. Boys may apply for more than one of the different types of scholarship, which include Academic, Music, Art, Sport and Outstanding Talent. Scholarships can often be supplemented by a means-tested bursary of up to 100% for parents who might not otherwise be able to afford the fees.
Read The Good Schools Guide review. Unbiased, expert and insightful. Find out more >>